It has to be exhausting for some women in Hollywood to constantly be talking about sexism in the entertainment industry. Yes, they have to fight for it, but Elizabeth Banks is questioning why she has to speak for every female in Hollywood to a male New York Times reporter.
David Marchese was probing the 48-year-old actress and director and asking whether Hollywood was more open to action films starring women since she directed Charlie’s Angels in 2019. Well, he probably wasn’t ready for her response. She explained to him that one of her “least favorite things to do” is “to represent all women in Hollywood who are doing interesting things” because she understands that she’s in “a rarefied category.” While that may sound rude in print, take a closer look at what she’s trying to say. “It’s a male-dominated industry. It’s a male-dominated world. That’s what I’m up against, but I can’t solve it and I don’t really want to analyze it,” she noted.
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Banks challenged Marchese “to interview the studio heads and the corporations and ask them these questions” because she “can’t solve” Hollywood’s sexism issue. “I’m a leader in Hollywood, so I’m not trying to shirk my responsibility,” she continued. “I just want the framing device around me to not consistently be that I’m some sort of feminist activist. That’s all I’m saying. I find, no offense, that talking to male journalists who are never going to understand foundationally what women go through, especially female actresses in Hollywood.” And that message should probably be sent to the editors over at The New York Times, who might have better-served Banks by sending a female reporter with the sexism angle — it’s why representation matters in all industries.
She also lets Marchese know that “it’s dangerous to talk about these things now” and it puts her in an awkward position because she could experience backlash from the studio executive level for speaking her mind. “It puts me, frankly, in a position where the studio head is going to read it in The New York Times and be like, ‘Wow, that Liz Banks has got a lot to say.’ I don’t need that added pressure,” she summed up. Her discomfort proves that even someone like Banks, who is at the top of her game as an actress and director, still finds that the door is mostly shut for women in Hollywood — and it’s beyond time to put the pressure on the men who run the studios to do better.
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